Jun 27, 2001

Insomnia.

Last night I couldn't sleep. It's been so hot and sticky. I felt suffocated so I went and laid on the sofa underneath the ceiling fan. On TV the story of Anastasia, or rather than of Ana Manahan, the woman who claimed to be The Daughter of the Romanov Tsar, Nicholas II.

The story of Anastasia really begins with her parents, The Empress Alexandra and The Tzar Nicholas II. Alexandra and Nicholas were very much in love with one another and thus very much into themselves. They were rich and happy and totally indifferent to the poverty that surrounded them.
Over the years, the tzar and the empress secluded themselves from Russian society and the aristocracy by living outside of St.Petersburg at Tsarskeo Selo. They were private, family oriented people who did not invite many outsiders into their home. By 1917, they did not have the support of the people or the wealthy aristocracy.
Eventually, Rasputin was murdered....Rasputin was murdered in 1916 by Felix Youssupov, a relative of Nicholas', and others, who thought that would save the country. The task, however, was not to be very easy. Rasputin was first poisoned, then knifed and shot several times, and as he, after all that, was still persistently alive, he was finally drowned in the river Neva. To make matters worse, the Tsar and the Empress became obssessed with Rasputin, the sex mad monk. Arriving in St. Petersburg in 1904, Rasputin soon developed a reputation for holiness. Before long he was introduced to the Grand Duchess Militsa and on 1 November, 1905 Duchess Militsa introduced him to Tsar Nicholas 11 and Tsarina Alexandra. From then on he became a frequent visitor to the Royal Palace. His directness and lack of formality appealed to the Romanovs. They felt they could confide in him. When Rasputin showed himself able to heal their haemophiliac son, Alexis, the bond was truly cemented. Alexandra especially was convinced that the future of the heir – and, therefore, all of Russia – depended on Rasputin.

By 1914, the Russian population was tired of the way the Tsar was running, or rather not running, the country. The Bolsheviks, Lenin's faction of power, supported revolution now, led by discipline vanguard of professional revolutionaries. ...In March of 1917, there were strikes and food riots in the capital, Petrograd (St. Petersburg/Leningrad) which led to the downfall of the monarchy and the beginning of the Revolution.

One night the Bolsheviks decided to kill off the entire royal family... The entire family, along with their doctor and three attendants, were lined up against a wall in the basement of a house in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg. A firing squad burst into the room and opened fire, emptying the barrels of their guns. Jewels sewn into the women's corsets caused some of the bullets to ricochet. The squad used bayonets to finish them off.

So the Tsar's entire family, including his daughter Anastasia, were murdered. But many years later, a woman surfaced claiming to be Anastasia Romanov surfaced creating a controversy that went on for over 50 years.

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